The Fighting Bobas arrange a Team Time Trial (TTT) race in Geyserville. It’s a 16.8-mile course with some rolling hills and very little traffic. It’s a ride at your own risk kind of thing, no services offered by the Bobas, etc. Indeed it seems like they don’t even really offer timing services (ooh, burn).
Colleagues and friends from Keysight, Medtronic, and the Red Peloton cycle club – Jon M, John S, Loren B, Nina S, Steve R, Joe F, Patrick Z, Nate B, and I – joined to form the team Clown Jewels. Nina, Joe, Patrick and I were on full TT bikes with aero wheels and helmets. Everyone else suffered!
Our plan was to ride smoothly and to finish with as many of the nine starters as we could. Weather was cool with a headwind. We were all starting to get cold so we signed up to be the second team on course.
We started out slow and spent the first few miles getting the hang of rotating smoothly in a nine-person paceline. We passed the Pheonix Bobas (who started a minute ahead of us) very quickly. First 2.5 miles were 20.8amph and est 230W. John was fighting a cold and knew he would drop early. He popped after his first pull. You can see him digging deep here (I’m behind him in red/black):
The next 2.5 miles were over the bigger rollers and we were surprisingly disciplined about staying seated on climbs, climbing at a reasonable pace, and staying smooth as we accelerated back up to speed. We averaged 20.9mph and est 270W. I felt good and we were all working well together.
Here are Nina, Nate and Jon with Loren moving to the back of the paceline:
The next 3.5 miles took us to the halfway point and now we had our rhythm going we started to push a little more. Avg speed was 22.6mph and est 260W. Loren popped off after the railroad crossing. The turnaround was manned and unfortunately we were slowed by a passing car that wasn’t sure what was going on and blocked us a little. We took our time regrouping after we all turned and started back with a tailwind.
The winning team, the Cheeters, blew past us around mile 9. They came past FAST, and I’m sure some of that was to show us how it’s done. Joe and Nina did two huge pulls and kept them in sight, but that came at a cost as Nate popped off.
Here’s Patrick at the back of the paceline as the Cheeters come flying by:
Avg speed on the 3.5 miles after the turnaround was 27.7mph and est 365W. We were definitely working harder, but the watts are thrown off by the wind. It was nice to push into the wind on the way out and have a helping hand coming back. The reverse would have been much harder to handle without blowing up.
The last part was hard. We started to give ‘er. The 2.5 miles of rollers we averaged 27.8mph and est 415W, even though we slowed to 15mph over the steepest hill. After that it was game on and we were hauling ass. Nina did a huge pull up one roller and I felt my quads start to burn. Oh yeah!
The last 2.5 miles were super fun. Mostly flat we averaged 31.1mph and 460W. Pulling was hard and reattaching after drifting back really hurt, but our team was working really well together. We were talking as much as we could but aero helmets and wind noise meant a lot of “HUH?!” being shouted back/forth.
Jon and Steve finally popped, but both were only a minute or two behind the four of us at the finish. We didn’t recognize the finish line until we were almost there and I think the four of us that crossed – Nina, Joe, Patrick and I – all felt that we had a little extra left in the tank.
Woulda coulda shoulda known where we were. Oh well. We completed the 16.8-mile course in 41:20, an average speed of 24.7mph and an estimated 320W. We debriefed at the Geyserville Elementary School parking lot and headed off to The Bear Republic in Healdsburg for burgers and beers with most of the Clown Jewels and Cheeters.
On the way to burgers and beer I stopped by the start/finish and talked to the Bobas. The timing was a little messed up. The Chief Timing Boba told me the timer stopped after the last team left, and when he noticed it had stopped he restarted it. The finish times were all captured from the restarted clock time. There were some other problems with the numbers (like the Cheeters being exactly one minute faster than their Strava track), but in the end it doesn’t matter. We finished either second or third, but we definitely had the most fun.